San Clemente Stakes & San Diego Handicap Betting Preview

SI Gambling insider Frankie Taddeo handicaps this weekend’s San Clemente Stakes & the Del Mar Handicap from Del Mar, including the latest odds and best bets.
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The SI Gambling horse handicapping experts had a great win two weeks ago in the Blue Grass Stakes. Art Collector (6.60) came through in dominating fashion; helping the team hit the Exacta (12/1), Trifecta (60/1) and Superfecta (443/1). The boys are back with some sharp opinions from Del Mar for this Saturday!

Del Mar racetrack in San Diego, CA was forced to suspend racing after 15 jockeys tested positive for COVID-19. This weekend, the amazing track known fondly as “Where the Surf Meets the Turf” is back with two great stakes races on the card this Saturday afternoon.

One of the featured races is the 53rd edition of the Grade II $150,000 San Clemente Stakes. Race 9 has drawn a wide-open field of 11 three-year-old fillies. The cast is led by morning line favorite Laura's Light (3/1), who has won four of her six lifetime starts. She heads into the San Clemente off a career best effort in the Grade III Honeymoon Stakes at Santa Anita back on May 30.

Among Laura’s Light’s chief rivals is Warren's Showtime (7/2), who will breaking from post 9, She’s So Special (5/1) from the rail in post 1, Croughavouke (5/1) from post 5 and Cheermeister (6/1) from post 6.

The other top race on the card is this year’s version of the San Diego Handicap. This race draws a solid field of six horses, headlined by Bob Baffert’s, Maximum Security (1/1). Baffert’s star four-year-old colt has won his last four races. If that horse’s name sounds familiar, it’s because Maximum Security is best known for initially winning the 2019 Kentucky Derby, only to be disqualified to 17th after stewards ruled interference. He has the respect of oddsmakers; installed as the prohibitive morning line favorite after his February win in the $20 million Saudi Cup.

It's imperative that we highlight the race's handicap weight adjustments, where Maximum Security will be carrying 127 pounds, spotting his five rivals anywhere between five to nine pounds.

Maximum Security will have his hands full with John Sadler’s five-year-old Higher Power (7/2) who posted a runner-up finish to Improbable in the June 6 Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) last time out as well as John Sheriff’s Midcourt (4/1) who has won four of his last seven races.

Who will cross the finish line first? Let’s take a look at the odds and dive deeper into these races.

San Clemente Stakes (GII)

Racetrack: Del Mar in Del Mar, California

Date: Saturday, July 25, 2020

Purse: $150,000

Distance: 1 mile, Turf

Race: 9

Post Time: 9:00 p.m. EST / 6:00 PST

HORSES OF NOTE: Listed by post number, name, and odds

#3 Laura’s Light (3/1) - She has speed and is tactical. This filly is consistent and checks in top form, thus landing as the most probable winner in a wide open field. Top Choice

#9 Warren’s Handicap (7/2) - She is consistent and checks in top form having won last out in the Melair Stakes at Santa Anita back on June 21. She has found the winner’s circle in five of her career starts. Contender

#11 Applecross (12/1) - She is coming off a massive layoff, last racing in the Jimmy Durante back in November at Del Mar. Bettors should not overlook the success that trainer Richard Baltas has with horses coming off extended layoffs. She’s easily the best longshot according to the formula.

Top Longshot

#6 Cheermeister (6/1) - She ships in Florida and is the likely pacesetter in the race. Can she get her own way on the front end and hold on? The numbers say no, but she could stick around for a piece. Strictly for exotics. Exotic Play

#1 She’s So Special (5/1) - She is drawn inside and draws Prat in the irons. This filly is interesting and I will be using strictly underneath in all exotics. The distance could be an issue. Underneath

San Clemente Stakes Formula Rankings

  • #3 Laura’s Light (J: A. Cedillo; T: P. Miller)
  • #9 Warren’s Showtime (J: J. Velez; T: C. Lewis)
  • #11 Applecross (J: D. Van Dyke; T: R. Baltas)
  • #5 Croughavouke (J: U. Rispoli; T: J. Mullins)
  • #6 Cheermeister (J: V. Espinoza; T: A. De La Cerda)
  • #1 She’s So Special (J: F. Prat; T: P. Miller)
  • #4 Over Attracted (J: Mike Smith; T: C. Gaines)
  • #2 Lazy Daisy (J: G Franco; T: D. O’Neil)
  • #7 Little Bird (J: R. Fuentes; T: R, Baltas)
  • #8 Mind Out (J: B. Blanc; T: S. Callaghan)
  • #10 Guitty (J: J. Hernandez; T: L. Powell)

San Clemente Stakes Betting Breakdown

Frankie Taddeo, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Vegas Insider (@Frankie_Fantasy)

This is a wide open race that offers strong betting potential. My top play is Laura Light who I will use over Warren’s Showtime (7/2). My top longshot is Applecross (11/1) for Jeff Mullins who is drawn to the far outside.

TOP Exacta Part-Wheel: 3 / 5,9,11 $1 wager: $3

SPREAD Exacta BOX: 3-5-9-11 $1 wager: $12

TOP Trifecta Part-Wheel: 3 with 9,11 with 1,5,6,9,11 $1 wager: $8

SPREAD Trifecta Part-Wheel: 3,9,11 with 3,9,11 with 1,3,5,9,11 $1 wager: $18

All wagers display ticket cost. All bettors should adjust wager amounts based upon bankroll

Destin Heath, Trainer at Winstar Farms, Versailles, KY (@DestinHeath)

Top Choice: #3 Laura’s Light (3/1)

Use Underneath: #1 She’s So Special (5/1) and #5 Croughavouke (6/1)

San Diego Handicap (GII)

Racetrack: Del Mar in Del Mar, California

Date: Saturday, July 25, 2020

Purse: $150,000

Distance: 1 mile, Turf

Race: 10

Post Time: 9:30 p.m. EST / 6:30 PST

HORSES OF NOTE

Listed by post number, name and odds

#6 Midcourt (4/1) - The 5-year-old by Midnight Lute, has flashed talent and the formula numbers suggest he is the biggest threat to take down Maximum Security if the star is not on his ‘A’ game. He is 2-2 at Del Mar in his career. Top Choice

#5 Maximum Security (1/1) - As we know following the indictment of Jason Servis, this star colt winds up in the hands of Bob Baffert. He is the best horse in the race, winner of eight of ten career races, but the odds make him a complete play against on top for me. Contender

#1 Higher Power (7/2) - John Sadler has this boy training great leading up to this race. Has proven to be solid when racing at Del Mar. Underneath

San Diego Handicap Formula Rankings

  • #6 Midcourt (J: V. Espinoza; T: J. Sherreffs)
  • #5 Maximum Security (J: A. Cedillo; T: B. Baffert)
  • #1 Higher Power (J: F. Prat; T: J.Sadler)
  • #4 Combatant (J: D. Van Dyke; T:J. Sadler)
  • #3 Sharp Samurai (J: J. Velez; T: M. Glatt)
  • #2 Ax Man (J: M. Smith; T: B. Baffert)

San Diego Handicap Betting Breakdown

Frankie Taddeo, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Vegas Insider (@Frankie_Fantasy)

This is a very strong field that will come down to whether Maximum Security (1/1) will fire in top form for Bob Baffert. I will try and go for a price and beat the short odds with the third betting choice Midcourt (4/1) thanks to the five pounds he is getting from the favorite. No exotic value here. Use these two in all horizontal wagers (Pick 3, Pick 4) with other races on the card.

TOP Exacta Part-Wheel: 6 / 5 $1 wager: $2

All wagers display ticket cost. All bettors should adjust wager amounts based upon bankroll

Destin Heath, Trainer at Winstar Farms, Versailles, KY (@DestinHeath)

Top Choice: #1 Higher Power (7/2)

Use Underneath: #5 Maximum Security (1/1) and #4 Combatant (6/1)

NOTE: Destin feels it is imperative to note that although he is attempting to beat the expected prohibitive favorite with Higher Power all bettors need to respect Maximum Security on all tickets.

BONUS HORIZONTAL WAGERS:

PICK 3 (Races 8-10): 2,3,4,9,10 with 3,9,11 with 5,6 ¢50 wager: $18

PICK 3 (Races 8-10): 2,3,4,9,10 with 3 with 6 $1 wager: $5

PICK 3 (Races 9-11): 3,9,11 with 5,6 with 1,2,5,6,8 ¢50 wager: $15

PICK 4 (Races 8-11): 2,3,4,9,10 with 3,9,11 with 5,6 with 1,2,5,6,8 ¢50 wager: $75

PICK 4 (Races 8-11): 2,3,10 with 3,9 with 5 with 2 $1 wager: $6

DOUBLE (Races 9 & 10): 3,9,11 with 6,5 $2 wager: $12